Saturday, September 1, 2012

Your memoir’s Grand Finale, part 3

For the past week, we’ve focused on writing a rough draft of your memoir’s Grand Finale—even if you’re still working on the main body of your memoir.

If you missed comments left by Sherrey Meyer this past week, let me tell you what she shared: She has already crafted her finale (while she’s writing her memoir) and it’s based on 2 Corinthians 12:9 in which the Lord tells Paul, “My grace is sufficient.”

Sherrey writes: “At the end of my mother’s life what has given me immeasurable peace was the manner in which God had healed us both with His grace, His sufficiency.” (Check out Sherrey’s two blogs: Letters to Mama, and Sowing Seeds of Grace.)

Sherrey knows where she’s going because she has pinned down her ultimate message. Because she has drafted a Grand Finale, she knows her target and she’s aiming at it with each vignette she writes. (And what a grand message Sherrey has for her readers! She’s writing a celebration of God and His grace—I can hardly wait to read it!)

Do what Sherrey did and write a rough draft of your Grand Finale (rough draft because stories can take a direction you might not have envisioned at the outset. Don’t worry if, after you’ve completed the main body of your stories, your memoir’s overall message ends up slightly different from your original plan. It’s better to focus on where you think you’ll end up, rather than drift, directionless.)

Drafting a Grand Finale helps you focus on your overall goal in writing this particular memoir. It helps you stay on message and bring everything full circle.

And then, when you’ve finished the main body of your memoir, tweak and polish and finalize your Grand Finale so readers will resonate with your memoir’s significance.

“Make sure no loose ends hang from the story
that leave people wondering.
They will feel the story isn’t over.…”

You want readers to feel the story is over, to feel that:

 “The story has been told, the tension resolved,
the consequences shown.
End the story with one strong sentence
that has a feeling of finality.…”

(Craig Brian Larson, “How to Tell a Moving Story,” from The Art and Craft of Biblical Preaching, Haddon Robinson and Craig Brian Larson, General Editors)

Strive to leave your readers satisfied.

Strive to leave your readers celebrating God!


  1. Linda, I have enjoyed this series so much! And thank you for the mention in this post. It is so gratifying to know the message God wants me to send and to know firsthand what that message means in real life. I appreciate your continuous encouragement and following.


  2. Thanks, Sherrey, for sharing with us. I know writing your memoir is difficult for you, but I'm certain God is using and will continue using your efforts, your words, your messages for His glory and for the benefit and blessing of so many people!